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Anita Moser, Michael Davis, Dharmendra Sahay outline UCB's measured approach to scaling its AI capabilities.
Today’s business environment is increasingly complex, with a growing volume of data available for guiding decisions. When UCB was preparing to launch a new epilepsy product three years ago, we recognized the market had changed considerably. We could no longer rely solely on prior institutional knowledge or intuition: Healthcare had become more focused on the challenge of delivering patient-centric value, despite a decrease in access to physicians. At the same time, data analytics and computing power had grown significantly. The key to success was to pursue an agile, data-driven decision-making model that would guide our business strategy and execution.
At the time, pharma’s most common method for making this pivot was to develop sophisticated data and advanced analytics capabilities first. However, this required commitment, vision, and discipline to see the change through, which often made organizations wary of pursuing this kind of innovation in the first place. At UCB, our approach is to focus on what patients value and to enable people living with severe diseases to access the medicines they need. We believe that to achieve this goal for patients, it takes data-driven decision making that will help us reach the right physicians. To successfully scale the AI, we decided to pursue a measured approach.
By starting small, targeting the right business problems, and embedding data-driven decision making into how we operate every day, we’ve seen success. Enabling AI-based analytics capabilities and continuing to refine our algorithms and dynamic targeting has allowed us to get our medicines to the patients who need them as quickly as possible. Regardless of approach, the journey requires perseverance and patience. The most important thing we learned is that AI works if we create the right path.
Anita Moser is UCB’s head of assets and optimization for US Neurology. Michael Davis leads UCB’s US Neurology Patient Value Unit. Dharmendra Sahay leads ZS’s integrated analytics practice.